Upon meeting Portland native Tyler Tastemaker (real name Tyler Sammons), I realized I was in a sacred space clearly built for his own obsession with sound design and music. A true studio space. Depending on what gear is accessible, one comes to realize the expansive wisdom he possesses through his comfortable nature with a wide variety of machinery. He speaks calmly of the qualities and methods of usage. I try to imagine what came first: the hair, beard, or his wisdom; they grew in unison, I suppose.
Tyler earned a Bachelor’s degree in sound engineering and is currently in process of obtaining his Master’s, seemingly solidifying his guise as a sound design wizard. For Tyler Tastemaker, what began as an open hearted interest has come to be a lifetime passion. All it took was one turn table and a will to learn. Producing sound is one thing, but to integrate your existence with the act of shaping and developing sound itself is an entirely different
A true Pisces by nature: he sincerely
loves many, many styles of music. Tyler maximized this love by
becoming familiar with the deep inner and outer workings of his gear as well as staying ahead of the curve. As
far as playing out, he began with vinyl at a young age, made the jump
to CDJ’s, switched to Traktor, eventually circling his way back to vinyl,
thus creating a hybrid performance style of his own. Needless to say,
Tyler Tastemaker is purely scintillating, no matter what selections he
Additional words & Interview by: Jenae Liberty
Tyler Tastemaker at What The Festival?!
What does STYLSS mean to you?
think at this point STYLSS to me represents the possibilities of the
internet, and the potential in the future.
How’d you get into music?
out this way I think. I have always been drawn to music of all types.
When I was around 14, I saved up enough money for one turntable, and then a
mixer. For a while I would just scratch over music played off one of those fliptop
cd player’s plugged into the other channel. Eventually I got another 1200 and got more into mixing. I then starting working in the live music
production field, then the music promotion field, and eventually got a degree in
sound engineering and finally started to try and make my own music.
Describe your sound and what you’re going for.
I’m not sure I have ‘sound I’m going for’ and that may be one of my biggest
hang ups. I’m into TONS of different styles of music, however recently
the more uptempo dance tunes have been fun to work on. Longer tracks
based more on the grove and subtle changes vs quick drops and big
What kind of equipment/program do you use to produce? Play out live?
Cdj 2000’s, Mixer (900, Xone92, djr400), 1200’s, and a Boss DD7 Stereo
digital delay pedal. I started out DJ-ing all vinyl, then moved to CDJ’s,
and then Traktor. These are all great but once I played on just flash drives
it was hard to turn back. I still use Traktor to set up my Rekodbox for
the CDJ’s. Lately I have been bringing 10-20 Records out to the club as
Studio: Ableton Live 9, Korg M1 VST, Micro Korg, Massive VST, Predator VST and loads of other VSTs.
If you had the opportunity to collab with one artist, who would it be & Why?
Prob Tupac when it came down to it.
Not sure why. Raw energy maybe? I’d fuck with Kanye too.
Favorite Artist/DJs you’ve seen live?
Outkast live as the sun set
over the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. It was right after
the album with Ms. Jackson came out. They had 13 male back-up dancers,
each with a chair, and then there was a DJ on a riser. That was it. And
it blew my mind. No visuals, only one lighting look. it was crazy.
Allman Brothers live at the Georgia Amphitheater. I was on tour working
for the band, and I was back stage hanging out with the Allman Brothers
manager, Jonny Podell. He’s telling me stories about doing black magic
with Jimmy Page, and all of a sudden looks his watch, then at me, and
says “look, they’re gonna do ‘Layla’ for the encore, lets go out on
stage”. As we walked on stage Warren Haynes leaned out over the crowd
and pull the first few notes out of his guitar, and lighting hit, and
rain started falling. If you know ‘Layla’ it’s a very emotional Derrick
and the Dominos song, and that paired with the weather and the company,
Ill never forget.
When I was 14, Puff Daddy
Played the Rose Garden Arena w/ Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, Ma$e, and
some others. During one of the intermissions Kid Capri rose out of a giant
box behind the sound guy, and He was scratching over classic old school
beats. Now all the lights were on, and there were thousands of people
dancing, and that was the moment I decided I wanted to try and be a DJ.
If you could only listen to one artist for the remainder of your life who would it be & why?
Ugh Ive struggled with this one before, in the past I have said the
Grateful Dead, just based on breadth of material, you would have a lot
to listen to before you got bored.
What else do you do besides music ? Hobbies? Day Job?
I try and stay busy. I work workout a lot, practice mixed martial arts, and I love to eat. Also currently getting my MBA at Portland State University.
If you had $1000 cash given to you right now, what would you do with it?
take $500 of it and invest in some high-risk stock or other financial
venture, take the other $500 and get loose with the expenditures in the
Do you have any life advice or wisdom to share?
TRY NOT TO STRESS OUT. I’m still really bad at this, and I have a feeling it’s the key to a good life.
Do you have any advice to share with upcoming/aspiring music producers?
Be proactive and remember what gets put up on the internet is forever.
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